Help with Sugar Snap Peas : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I live in zone 6, I think and planted sugar snap peas in mid to late august. We haven't had a hard freeze yet. The plants all came up from seed and grew very heartily to the top of the fence.

Problem: not many flowers, hence not many peas.


I didn't fertilize (the area had green beans this summer) is there a nutrient missing?

We had a dry spell but the plants still grew well.

-- Ann Markson (, November 29, 2001


Peas need and abundance of potash and phosphorus for proper growth. Your soil may be lacking these. Also they need a constant water supply when the blossoms are falling to insure proper filling of the pods later.

I love them and plant them every year.....but this year the dry fall we had did a number on mine.

-- Jason in S. Tenn. (, November 29, 2001.

I would guess too much nitrogen and not enough other minerals because of the previous crops membership in the bean group. Can you do a home soil test?

-- mitch hearn (, November 29, 2001.

Mitch: help me learn your reasoning here...Are you saying that green beans would ADD nitrogen to the soil? How?

Jason: where or rather how can you get potash and the other thing you mention cheaply/make it yourself)?

-- Ann Markson (, November 29, 2001.

Most, if not all, legumes (peas, beans, etc.) ADD nitrogen to soil.

Phosphorus - bone meal; Potassium - Wood ashes

Manure also has fair amounts of both of the above, as well as nitrogen. Different compositions for different animals.

Good luck!

-- Laura Jensen (, November 29, 2001.

Ann, any of the plants with deep roots draw up the nitrogen from lower layers of soil, this nitrogen remains after the plant is gone which unbalances the mineral content of the soil. This promotes heavy foliage but not many munchies.

-- mitch hearn (, November 29, 2001.

Thanks Mitch--I really did want to know why, not trying to be a smart aleck although sometimes typed things sound harsh. Im not a harsh person.

Thanks all for educating me.

-- Ann Markson (, November 29, 2001.

Laura answered your question about potash and phosphorus superbly....but here's some more info: Free sources of potash (potassium)-

wood ashes (6 to 10 %) hay (1.2 to 2.3 %)

leaves (.4 to .7 %)

And sources of phosphorus:

rock phosphate (30 to 50 %)

Basic slag (up to 5%)

These are not free but very reasonably priced at feed and garden stores.

-- Jason in S. Tenn. (, November 29, 2001.

Thanks Jason--but you know free is ALWAYS better than reasonably priced, I always say!

-- Ann Markson (, November 29, 2001.

All legumes will host a bacteria that fixes nitrogen from the air, in little nodules on the roots, sometimes your can dig up a bean plant and it will have knots on the roots large enough to see easily, if you cut one open the knot it can have a pinkish color, that is a strong population of the good bacteria, I've also seen it look creamy or white in the knots with a good crop of beans. The bacteria can stay in the soil for quite some time and be ready to 'fix' the next crop.

-- Thumper (, November 29, 2001.

You can also buy a legume innoculant and put that on the peas or beans themselves before you plant them. IT really helps to get a bigger yield. It is a powder that is sprinkled on the beans or peas after they have been dampened. It lets the nodules fix even more nitrogen. You can usually get it at a feed/seed store. They also use it to grow alfalfa(also a legume).

-- Nan (, November 30, 2001.

Hmm low production ,healthy looking plants. Have you had peas planted in that same spot any time in the last 3 years? If you did Ms. markson i'll bet you you have root rot bacteria built up enough to lower production. No peas in the same bed for a 3- 5 year rotation.

Do you use compost? That usually takes care of all trace minerals and nutrients, and it is in a slow/steady release form available to the plants, not always true with chemical fert.

I doubt that excess nitrogen from growing beans was your problem, 'cause you ate the nitrogen as beans! [ the majority of nitrogen goes from the roots to the seeds/beans, thats why you turn in cover crops as they bloom or before.] Beans are actually a teriffic plant to plant peas after in rotation cropping.

Mostly because you can leave up the trellis and save a bundle of work!

But also because you want to rotate beans with other crops to improve soil tilth with those fast growing, feathery, notrogen, low feeding roots.

-- bj pepper in C. MS. (, November 30, 2001.

BJ, reread the post, the poster was asking about sugar snap peas, planted after beans, not before, your info is backwards.

-- mitch hearn (, December 01, 2001.

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